Maritime Academy of Nigeria Rector, Joseph Okpo, is dead

Late Joseph Okpo

The Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Mr Joshua Okpo, is dead. He died in Abuja on Tuesday where he had gone to defend his 2016 budget before the National Assembly.

Sources close to MAN said that when staff of the institution, who had waited at the National Assembly for hours did not see their boss for the budget defence, they had gone to his residence only to discover that he had passed on in his room.

The cause of his death was however not known as at the time of filing this report.
His body was said to have been deposited in the mortuary at the National Hospital, Abuja.
Okpo has been in the news for some time now with the report that the Transport Minister, Mr Chibuike Amaechi had directed that the allegation of large scale fraud leveled against the management of his school be investigated.

The problem started when the Rector, according to our sources, accused the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency( NIMASA) of starving MAN by not releasing its subvention.

He was said to have told the Minister that this has affected the infrastructure development of the School.

On getting this report, the Minister was said to have summoned both managements of NMASA and MAN to his office to find out the truth.

According to our source, the Acting Director-General of NIMASA, Haruna Jauro had denied the allegation, saying that so far, NIMASA had remitted over N18 billion to MAN since 2009.

On inquiry by the Minister, Okpo said the amount given to MAN was N13 billion adding that he took over in 2011.

The Minister who our source said was not happy with the Rector for not giving him a true picture of the situation of the amount the school received as subvention had ordered an audit report on the institution.

The Minister, our source said, wants to find the details of how the subvention was spent following allegations that there is lack of physical infrastructural development of the school.

The source said the Minister was not satisfied about the answer given by the Rector on how the amount was spent.

The Minister had ordered immediate audit of all the amounts said to have been remitted to the School since 2009.

The Ministry of Transport is to carry out on the–spot- assessment of the facilities at MAN to ascertain how the N13 billion was used by the school.

A source was quoted saying, ‘’We could have gone last week Tuesday but for the trip the chief executive of the agency and the Minister made to London to attend IMO meeting. When they come back this week, we shall carry out the Minister’s directive.’’

The Minister is reported to have demanded for the model of a similar institution in Egypt in order to compare with what is on ground in MAN, Oron.

The probe will determine the extent of how the funds released to the institutions were utilized following allegation of frivolous spending by the management of the school.

When contacted, the Public Relation Officer of the Academy, Sidi Mpadiok was reported to have said such accusations were not new.

He maintained that those raising such allegations were disgruntled elements.
He was quoted saying, “Well, I can’t answer for that, I can’t answer for the financial status of the Academy.

“NIMASA and the Rector are the ones that can say things about the finances of the Academy. Financial recklessness is nothing new and this has been addressed.

“Agitators have nothing new to say, most of them are disgruntled and until we get the detail, there is nothing I can say.”